A Secret (and True!) Lie of JFK Assassination Revealed in ‘Parkland’


A Secret (and True!) Lie of JFK Assassination Revealed in ‘Parkland’.

The assassination of John F. Kennedy has been replayed dozens of times on screen. Heck, it was replayed dozens of times in “JFK” alone. But just when you think every facet of that fateful day has been hashed over, comes “Parkland.”

Some of the little-known facts the film reveals include how JFK still had a faint heartbeat when he was brought to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas on November 22, 1963. And how Secret Service agents broke the law when it came to moving the president’s body.

The latter scene plays out in this exclusive clip. Agent Roy Kellerman (played by Tom Welling of “Smallville” fame) fights with Dallas County medical examiner Dr. Earl Rose (Rory Cochrane, “Dazed and Confused”). They have a showdown, specifically, over president’s lifeless body and where it should go.

And yes, this showdown did occur in real life, according to Kellerman’s testimony to Congress in the months following the assassination.

Kellerman and the rest of JFK’s security detail were intent on getting the president back to Washington, D.C., quickly, but Rose demanded that his body stay in Dallas. The president was murdered — a local crime under local jurisdiction. Rose was simply following protocol by demanding that JFK’s body stay in Dallas.

Kellerman wasn’t having it — as his testimony to Congress indicates: “[Rose] said to me, he said, ‘There has been a homicide here, you won’t be able to remove the body. We will have to take it down there to the mortuary and have an autopsy.’ I said, ‘No, we are not.’ And he said, ‘We have a law here whereby you have to comply with it.'”

A doctor at Parkland backed him up, essentially telling the examiner to back off. “The doctor became a little enraged; he said, ‘We are removing it.’ He said, ‘This is the president of the United States and there should be some consideration in an event like this,'” Kellerman testified. “I told this gentleman, I said, ‘You are going to have to come up with something a little stronger than you to give me the law that this body can’t be removed.'”

According to Kellerman’s testimony, the medical examiner called everyone he could to prove to the Secret Service agent that JFK’s body had to stay put. But even word from a local judge, who echoed Rose’s sentiments, didn’t deter Kellerman.

Kellerman recalled pleading with the judge: “The family doesn’t have to go through this. We will take care of the matter when we get back to Washington.” As his statement to Congress reflects, he noticed other agents wheeling the casket out to an ambulance. Kellerman entered the vehicle after first lady Jacqueline Kennedy was sitting securely inside.

Then, the Secret Service agent admitted to telling a lie in order to expedite the late president’s return to Washington. “As we are leaving a gentleman taps on the driver’s window and they roll it down and he says, ‘I will meet you at the mortuary.’ [I replied,] ‘Yes, sir.’ We went to the airport, gentlemen.”

An autopsy was performed on the president the evening of the 22nd, in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Parkland,” also starring Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks, and Billy Bob Thornton, is based on the book of the same name by Vincent Bugliosi (“Helter Skelter”). The film opens in theaters Friday.

About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s